MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Manchester Monarchs started the scoring early, and never looked back in a 5-2 win over the Maine Mariners, Saturday night at SNHU Arena.
The Monarchs (29-24-1-2) scored two goals on their first two shots and held on to beat the Mariners (28-25-0-1) by a score of 5-3.
The Monarchs opened the scoring at 3:59 of the first period when Kevin Dufour scored his 20th goal of the season and first in a Monarchs uniform. Dufour intercepted a breakout pass at the top of the right circle and sent a shot the past the stick of Mariners goaltender Connor LaCouvee, making the score, 1-0.
The Monarchs scored again at 5:04 of the first period when Drake Rymsha netted his 7th goal of the season. David Kolomatis found Rymsha streaking into the offensive zone on a breakaway, where he wristed a shot past LaCouvee, stick side, giving the Monarchs a 2-0 lead.
The Monarchs took a 3-0 lead at 9:28 of the second period with Chris Carlisle’s 2nd goal of the season. Sam Kurker skated the puck along the left side boards before passing it to Carlisle who ripped a one-timer past LaCouvee from the blue line, to increase the lead.
The Mariners got on the board at 12:48 of the second when Dwyer Schantz ripped a shot from the left circle, over the glove of Monarchs goaltender Cole Kehler, to make the score, 3-1.
The Mariners cut the lead to one at 10:02 of the third period when Charles-Eric Legare scored his first goal of the season. Wade Murphy took a pass from Terrance Wallin and skated into the Monarchs defensive zone where he passed the puck to Legare at the side of the net, who tipped the puck past the blocker of Kehler, to make the score, 3-2.
The Monarchs made it 4-2 on a power-play goal by Nic Pierog at 17:45 of the third. LaCouvee stopped a Kolomatis blast from the point, and Carlisle collected the long rebound, passing it to Pierog in the left circle, where he flicked a shot past LaCouvee, to give Manchester their two-goal lead back.
The Monarchs scored an empty-net goal just 42 seconds later, when Sam Kurker beat the Mariners defense to a loose puck and slid a shot into the open net to finish the scoring, 5-2.
The Monarchs return to action Wednesday, February 27 at 7 p.m., when they take on the Worcester Railers at SNHU Arena. For tickets, Season Memberships and group tickets, please contact the Monarchs front office at 603-626-7825.
Visit us at ManchesterMonarchs.com, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram: @MonarchsHockey, and like us on Facebook for additional information.